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Summary of what’s going on. “On 22 November 2011, David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, was scheduled to speak at the University of Cambridge [...]“
Report of a discussion in the Senate House in April. James of Jesus: “It is not, I think, to establish a rule whereby any person can say whatever they like on any occasion without fear of interruption or rudeness in response: what is important is that no persons are punished for the content of their expressed views, not that every person is able to say whatever they like on a given occasion. (To give an example, I have no ‘free speech’ right to deliver a speech in Westminster Abbey during a state occasion, and to prevent me from doing so is not to impede my freedom of speech.) In this perspective, the notion that a serving government minister is in particular need to have his freedom of speech protected from interruption by a single graduate student seems to me misconceived: it is hardly plausible to claim that Mr Willetts was rendered, as a result of the prosecuted student’s actions, unable freely to express his views on universities. In any important sense, this is not a free speech issue.”